A Day of Remembering
Here is the warning – this post will probably need tissues for any of you who read this and know us. And I’m going to update it through the day. So it will change periodically as things strike me throughout the day.
Twelve years ago, just about this time, I remember asking the doctor just what a c-section entailed. He looked at me with a look of complete disbelief. We were still attending childbirth classes for our firstborn who was at that time trying to climb up into my ribs I swear. We were just barely 36 weeks and had been scheduled for an emergency c-section for 1pm that day.
The day before we had found out something was wrong with our much awaited baby. We listened to the doctor try to explain about Holoprosencephaly which for weeks we continued to call Snuffleupagus (remember Sesame Street?? – sorry Snuffy ) because we just couldn’t say the word and had no idea how to spell it. The baby was crawling up into my ribs while the doctor was explaining that we were having an emergency c-section the next day and when I asked him if it is such an emergency why is it tomorrow? His answer was because he had hand picked each and every single person that was going to be in the delivery room and that was the time he could get every one of them there. That was a very sobering thought. We spent the night in the hospital that night, since we lived 2 1/2-3 hours away and there was a Nor’easter coming up the coast. We didn’t sleep. We cried a lot, we talked – a lot. We were blessed with a night time nurse who worked in the NICU part time. She tried all night to get permission to take us upstairs to the NICU and when she couldn’t she explained in pain staking detail what we would see and what our baby would be hooked up to. The sounds that we would hear, the wires that we would see. Firmly believing for us that our baby would be there and alive. When we were being told that the baby might not even live.
I’m currently sitting here at my computer, tearing up at the memories. Pregnant with our fifth baby who is not due until March 25th. Our other three blessings that Miss Angela has since sent us are sitting on the couch watching a video and doing their math – I know a bit counterproductive – but it makes it easier as the tears fall down my face as I feel the need to write things out today. Pregnancy hormones are not helping today at all. I’ll have to make sure I go get some water to drink. I have trouble staying hydrated most days much less now as the tears seem to fall at their own will, certainly not mine.
Kids have their lunch or at least the beginnings and are eating. I washed my hands to test my sugar before making my lunch. Flooded with memories as I see the reflection of the rings hanging around my neck. I’ve had to take them off because of hand swelling during this pregnancy. I managed to make it until about 2 weeks ago. I have my wedding ring on the necklace and the ring we found 8 years ago, with three garnets on it. The one that we bought so I’d always be able to wear a reminder of Angela Faith even when I couldn’t wear the bracelet that was bought after her birth. It was a perfect match. I remember trying it on at the Kay Jewelers in Syracuse and then as Michael was going to pay for it, excuse myself to go to the bathroom because I just couldn’t hold it together anymore. I needed to have a few minutes to try and compose myself. I remember the sympathy in the eyes of the jeweler as I returned. I remember her compassion. I remember walking down the mall with Michael’s hand holding tight to mine as the tears continued to slide periodically down my face.
Happy Birthday to my little girl who made me a mom 12 years ago today. You made me stronger in so many ways. You proved so many of the “professionals” wrong from your first breath. Starting out with apgar scores of 8/9 for a baby they never figured would breathe on her own. Not only did you breathe, you screamed. You yelled. You started breastfeeding like a champ after we both got the hang of it which was a little tense in the NICU. You were the biggest baby in the NICU and it looked so odd to see you there in the incubator, but you didn’t stay there for long.
I’m so thankful for the time we had with you and for the blessings you have sent us with your sisters. But man I miss you. I miss your smile. I miss you laughter. I miss your giggles as Daddy threw you up in the air over and over giving you that sensation of flying.
It’s odd that I’m alone in the house right now. A friend who needed computer help took the girls for a walk downtown. Hopefully it won’t backlash too much with how tired they get, especially Miss F.
Daddy just wrote his haiku for the day and I just saw it and immediately lost it. But justifiable so.
Angels on my mind
I listen for rustling wings
And giggles of joy.
The outfit in the picture was so big on you. I think you wore it for 9 months. I didn’t care that it was meant to be a valentines day outfit. You were so tiny in every way, except for your head due to the hydrocephalus. That just grew even when it seemed your body did not.
Pregnancy hormones are really not making this any easier today.
Your sisters are doing Silly to Calm Yoga in hopes that between that and the walk they took downtown earlier everyone will go to bed easily. I’m ready to follow. It has been an emotional and sometimes trying day.
You never got to do yoga, but we did lots of therapy with you. As I asked your sisters to pick up their toys tonight I realized that was never a joy that you had. Although at times after a therapy session I’d wish I could ask you to pick up. 🙂
Someone in one of the groups I’m a part of on Facebook was talking about Mayofacia release today. I remember doing therapy with you as your PT did this for you. At various times through the years I have wished to have someone do that for me. I remember the first time I had a massage and the looks on the nurse’s face when she was trying to figure out if I was going to be okay to leave alone. It (the massage) had relaxed me so much that she was actually worried about leaving us. But if I remember there was only an hour or so before your father was coming home from work so I convinced them I would be okay and we would just hang out on the couch and cuddle until your Daddy got home. A massage might have been a nice release today. Of course I might have cried through the whole thing, but perhaps in some ways that might not have been a bad thing either.
Your youngest sister (so far) wanted to cuddle a lot after her long walk (almost 2 miles round trip). At three that is a long walk. We used to do that walk with you in the jogging stroller. You loved the wind in your face. You also loved to cuddle and often that is where you fell asleep was cuddled up against me. And I’d reluctantly put you down in your bed. Of course for the first year you slept with us more often than not because it was the most comfortable for you. And honestly in many ways for us as well. You were right there, I could open my eyes and see you breathe.
I’m thinking I’m going to go to bed. I drank my milk tea, had some cookies and some blackberries (a big craving this time around). With you the craving was chicken and broccoli alfredo from Angelo’s. They aren’t even still in business anymore. 🙁
I had the thought it would be really nice to have a picture of each of your siblings all together but I couldn’t pull it off for today. Maybe for the end of next month. Perhaps a picture of your three sisters and their hands upon this ever expanding belly with your new little sister or little brother. I’m excited to see who you decided to send. S/he definitely has his/her own personality.
I miss you baby girl.